Pulling Data from the Web without Code
Data takes a very important spot in the business world; it dictates who rules the market and folds in a few years.
Those who collect enough of it can analyze it to grasp the market better. They also use it to protect their brand, monitor their competition, and make more profits. Those who do not have it or seldom collect it end up at the bottom of the ladder and are crushed out of the game. Global participation and market domination hinge on how much data you can get hold of and how often you can scrape relevant data.
Because of this, the methods on how to extract data from websites should be numerous, and the tools for web scraping should be in abundance. See this blog of putting together a how-to extract data from a website for a more detailed description. For instance, it should be easy for even those who cannot write codes to participate in this globally important race to collect data.
This article will see what web scraping is and the different methods for pulling data from the internet without code.
An Explanation of Web Scraping
Web scraping can be defined as the automated process used to extract large sums of data from various places on the internet.
Many consider it both an art and a process in which high-end software and computers are used to penetrate multiple websites and web pages and repeatedly extract their content in large amounts. Each time the data is collected, it is transformed and parsed to be stored and studied to create business insights that can change the trajectory of any company. This is why many businesses engage in it, as it offers them the most efficient way to reach millions of data on the web regularly.
Web scraping can be used for a variety of applications, with the most common ones including the following:
- For monitoring prices and forming price intelligence or dynamic pricing
- For monitoring and researching the market to create product optimization and make predictive analysis
- For generating leads and potential customers for marketing purposes
- For consumer behavior monitoring and sentiment analysis to develop a more profound marketing strategy
- For monitoring and protecting a brand from infringement and reputational damages
- For aggregating data on a single platform to allow users and other businesses easier access to important data
Most Popular Methods of Web Scraping
When looking for how to extract data from a website, the best options are the most common and easiest.
1. Data Brokers
Data brokers are third-party companies that gather and sell specific datasets. They scourge the whole internet, gather a particular type of data, and then aggregate them into their databases. Those who need exactly this data can then go to them and buy it rather than scraping for it all over again.
The advantage of this is that it can save you time and energy, while the disadvantage could be cost and the limitation on the data type.
2. Website-Specific APIs
Website-specific APIs are usually built to work with a particular platform or website and gather the data on that website. When you want a specific dataset, you can check to see what exact website you can gather that data to see if they have dedicated APIs.
Then you can use these APIs to interact and harvest data from the website instead of needing to write fresh codes from a general scraping bot. The lack of code is a clear advantage here, while the specificity of the data type can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.
3. Web Browser Extensions
You can also pull data from a website by using extensions engineered to work with web browsers.
These extensions are built on specific web browsers and work with specific websites. One major advantage here is getting well-structured data with just a little effort. However, this method may not work when you are looking for general data. It may also not work with proxies and other tools that protect you on the internet.
4. Web Scraping Tools
Web scraping tools are mostly a favorite for anyone looking to extract data from multiple sources at once. They do not require codes and have been built already to extract data from any platform, and that is one of the advantages. Another advantage is that they can help you get any data you want on the internet. However, they can be expensive and require more effort than other methods.
5. Outsourcing to Web Scraping Agencies or Freelancers
If all the above options don’t work for you or lack time to get your hands dirty with actual scraping, you can delegate the scraping project to agencies and freelancers whose major job is to extract data. This saves you more time and allows the job to be done by professionals. However, it also means that you are at the mercy of the agency, and your activities are no longer anonymous.
Whether it is a small operation or a large-scale project, you can perform web scraping with no codes by using any of the methods described above.